Profits swell at M Restaurants as founder blasts ‘soulless’ and ‘rightly dying’ chains

Martin Williams
09/02/2018 - 09:36
The founder of M Restaurants has taken a swipe at “dated" and "rightly dying” casual dining chains as he reported that his restaurants grew like-for-like profits by almost 700% in 2017.

Martin Williams revealed that underlying profits were up 674% at the Threadneedle Street and Victoria Street London sites with Lfl sales growth in excess of £6m, an 11% increase on 2016.

Group sales were reportedly up 19% for the year, as total restaurant EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) grew by 680%.

During the period, the group opened its first neighbourhood location with a bar and grill in Twickenham.

“M Restaurants is a rare good news story in an industry blighted by a saturated market, a devalued pound, increased labour costs and up to 50% rates increases,” said Williams. 

“Our success contrasts with chain restaurants even the best of which give a mediocre offering in a soulless environment and are all too often being found out as poor value for money, devoid of personality and quality.

“Guests at M have rightly grown to expect and appreciate a heightened experience offering finest quality produce perfectly prepared and served with a true spirit of welcome and hospitality.

“In contrast chain restaurants – whether a private members set up, steak restaurants or a pizza or burger group - are rightly struggling. M’s results show that diners appreciate quality at an accessible price point and are discovering a new standard in drinking and dining.”

Several casual dining chains have run into financial trouble in recent months with Strada, Jamie’s Italian, Byron and Prezzo all forced into closing sites as restaurants struggle with rising costs.

A breakdown of the performances of M Restaurant’s individual sites suggests that the group, which is backed by business leaders and sports stars, including ex-England rugby international Simon Shaw, is far from feeling the pinch.

Like-for-like sales grew by 19% at Threadneedle Street restaurant where Lfl EBITDA rose by 78% at over £600,000 net profit.

The 120-cover, two-tiered Victoria Street restaurant grew lfl sales by 2.4% with EBITDA up 54% year-on-year.

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